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Connecting Russian and European Measures for Large-scale Research Infrastructures

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CREMLIN (Connecting Russian and European Measures for Large-scale Research Infrastructures)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2018-08-31

CREMLIN is a European-Russian project that aims at improving and strengthening the European-Russian collaboration in the area of research infrastructures. It is a foremost pathfinding project, with the mission to explore pathways and strategies for a significantly intensified and deepened collaboration along RI.
CREMLIN focuses on European-Russian collaboration along five Russian megascience projects: (1) the neutron reactor complex PIK, (2) the ion collider facility NICA, (3) the synchrotron radiation source SSRS-4, (4) the high-power laser XCELS, (5) the lepton collider SCT. Also, the fusion project IGNITOR is addressed, at a less prominent level.
The three key objectives are:
• Enhance European-Russian science cooperation along these megascience facilities;
• Develop recommendations, strategies and perspectives for an enhanced European-Russian cooperation;
• Establish an exchange platform for mutual learning across the various science disciplines and communities.
During the three years of CREMLIN, the key objectives have been fulfilled at various levels:
Scientific cooperation level: Within five thematic work packages, the European-Russian project teams carried out numerous scientific workshops, meetings, training measures and expert reviews in order to discuss and work out proposals for specific science and technology roadmaps for an enhanced EU-Russian cooperation.
Research policy level: Specific research policy recommendations for the CREMLIN implementation have been worked out by the external advisory board. Science policy related working meetings, for instance on ESFRI processes and on internationalisation of RI, have been conducted. Also, possible obstacles and barriers of a smooth EU-Russia collaboration in the five thematic work packages were identified and could be solved by careful intervention and consensus-building coordination actions. A key policy brief was elaborated and handed over to the European Commission: “First CREMLIN Recommendations for the European-Russian Megascience Collaboration”.
Cross-topic level: An exchange platform was set up for the exchange of horizontal topics and to ensure an effective exchange of knowledge and best practice and stimulated mutual learning.

Typical topics of relevance for all project partners were, for instance, “Big data management at RI”, “Innovation at megascience facilities”, “Funding and Joint Research Programmes at RI”, and “Internationalisation issues and access policies for RI”.
Specific progress has been achieved in the thematic work packages. For NICA, a special silicon tracking detector system was prepared and constructed that will be used both by NICA and FAIR facilities. For the PIK facility in Gatchina, jointly agreed guidelines for the instrumentation suite were elaborated. Intensive collaboration meetings and workshops of the European and Russian partners of the SSRS-4 WP consortium led to a common understanding on the design options for this completely new X-ray light source. The XCELS project was introduced to the European high-power laser facilities network through several thematic workshops taking up for instance technological issues as well as the expected potential for industrial application. The lepton collider project SCT was introduced to the European and international particle physics communities, for instance by organising a workshop for young scientists and publishing a respective proceedings book. Also, a special tool “Lepton Collider Platform” was set-up to facilitate the European-Russian exchange among participants in e+e- collider studies.
Training and education has been addressed at the thematic levels as well as at the horizontal level: A high number of training measures has been conducted with young scientists from Russia and Europe in the context of neutron science and heavy ion physics with the aim to prepare the next generation for the utilisation of PIK and NICA. Training of young RI managers was offered for all thematic communities.
The very urgent topic of identifying specific user demands of RI users in Europe and Russia was taken up, especially for the users of neutron sources and in the field of photon science. The demands of Russian and European future users of the PIK and SSRS-4 facilities were worked out in several dedicated workshops.
In order to better promote the new Russian megascience facilities and to illustrate their potential for utilisation, specific dissemination measures were carried out, among them a trip of European science journalists to Russia to selected megascience facilities.
CREMLIN has substantially contributed to enter a new level of European-Russian collaboration in the area of research infrastructures by catalyzing a closer scientific cooperation and by paving the way to more effective means to organize it. The project is a major initiative among European and Russian actors to build up a closer and more accurate common understanding of their respective research systems, their research policies, processes and practices around large-scale projects.
During the project, European and Russian scientists and stakeholders stepwise agreed and defined collaboration topics and roadmaps around all five Russian megascience projects for the future collaboration, and were building up trust thereby.
The impact of CREMLIN is a much closer EU-Russian collaboration practice along Russian RI, yielding ultimately a better exploitation of European and Russian RI. As a pioneering project, CREMLIN was a first step on a longer path. A solid base was created to organise international access and cooperation around RI, to agree on standards, on policies such as access policies and on best practices.
CREMLIN thus opened the door to better integrate Russia´s new megascience facilities to the European Landscape.